Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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CHAUVE, Chave, Chawve, v. and n. Cf. Kyauve and Eng. dial. tave. [tʃɑ:v]

1. v. To work hard, to struggle hard, often with little result. Known to Bnff.2 and Abd. correspondents (1939). Ppl.adj. chauven, “worn out” (Bch. 1916 (per Abd.14)). Mry.(D) 1897  J. Mackinnon Braefoot Sketches iv.:
“Fat's daein' up the wy?” “Little o't. Aye chawvin awa'.”
Abd. 1928 15 :
The vratch [a pig] chauvt an' wammlet.
Mearns 1932  “L. G. Gibbon” Sunset Song, Prelude 33:
Though well he might have taken the time instead of sweating and chaving like a daft one to tear up the coarse moorland.

2. n. A hard task, a struggle. Known to Bnff.2 and Abd. correspondents (1939). sn.Sc. 1931  I. Macpherson Shepherd's Calendar 250:
It's a sair chauve cairting that barrow-load o' guts aboot wi' him the whole time.
Mearns 1934  “L. G. Gibbon” Grey Granite I. 15:
She put out her hand on that rail, warm, slimy, and paused afore tackling the chave of the climb.

[See etym. note to Tyauve.]

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"Chauve v., n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 20 Jan 2019 <>



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